Beyond Compliance: Thinking with ESG

If one perceives ESG as reporting towards climate compliance, one is clearly missing the woods for the trees as sustainability is about survival at the planetary scale, however at the human scale it is dignity of work that drives any transformation, digital or net zero. Without people as key actors in a process which is participatory rather than performative, no climate transition dialogue can achieve its stated outcomes. ESG at the entry level is compliance, as regulatory hygiene but higher up on the value curve it can serve as a lens to solve wicked problems for the transition’s era.

Software can capture data, and churn out a report, but culture will determine enterprise value. ESG is about enterprise value. The cacophony regarding ESG is generative, as it mainstreams ESG as business and reporting frameworks give guidance on how to embark on the journey. We are dealing with businesses and sometimes sustainability professionals forget that sustainability is not the only element on the C Suite agenda, it is merely one of them.

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